Thousands of illegal immigrants will flee riot-torn Egypt and flood to Britain, the leader of Nato has warned.
Paul Robins' article continues:
Many refugees are desperate to escape and head here to milk the benefits system.
Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, 58, said the riots will fuel an “illegal migration wave” across the EU.
And the majority will head straight to Britain on the promise of free housing and better jobs.
In the first two sentences, the terms illegal immigrants and refugees are used interchangeably. And the claims about milking benefits and getting jobs and free houses are the usual inflammatory tabloid-fodder.
But did Rasmussen actually say that 'thousands of illegal immigrants' from Egypt were going to 'flood to Britain' in an 'illegal migration wave' as the Star states? Here's NATO's transcript:
Having said that, I do not consider the situation in Egypt or Tunisia, or elsewhere as a direct threat to NATO allies or the Alliance as such. But obviously the evolving situation in the Middle East and North Africa may have an impact on the Middle East peace process, and instability in the region as such may also, in a longer term perspective, have a negative impact on economy, which might lead to illegal immigration in Europe, etc. So of course indirectly there may be a negative impact on Europe caused by the evolving situation in North Africa and the Middle East. But I do not consider the situation as a direct threat to NATO.
Rasmussen didn't mention Britain. It's also clear he's not singling out Egyptians, but saying long-term instability might lead to illegal immigration from the region. He didn't mention any number. He certainly didn't make reference to benefits or jobs or houses. And he did say 'might' rather than 'will'.
So the Star have turned Rasmussen's words from this:
instability in the region...might lead to illegal immigration in Europe
Thousands of illegal immigrants will flee riot-torn Egypt and flood to Britain
They were helped in this by yesterday's Mail, which is why the story only appears in the Star today. The Mail's original headline claimed Hosni Mubrarak turmoil 'will fuel illegal wave UK migration' warns Nato - a slightly random collection of some of the paper's favourite words.
This has been changed to Egypt's turmoil 'will fuel illegal migration wave', head of Nato warns. Since NATO's transcript of the press conference contains no mention of the word 'wave' it seems that Star have put it in quote marks simply because the Mail did.